Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
La started ballet on Saturday. We walked a pleasant mile and a half to get there (not looking forward to that in the wintertime), and then I wasn't even allowed to sit in the studio to watch the session! The moms and dads were forced to remain in the atrium of the facility, and La was shuffled upstairs with all the other ballerinas to a private studio. I did not know that I would not be allowed to watch my sweet little peanut twirl about. Apparently these Russian ballerinas don't mess around. Ballet is some SERIOUS BUSINESS. No moms distracting their children by snapping pictures to post on their blogs.
I could have cried.
So, I sat below, patiently waiting 45 minutes for class to finish.
When class was over, La came marching down the stairs with the rest of her class and announced that she LOVED ballet SO much, and can we please come back soon? PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEEEEAAAASE!
By the time we got home, she couldn't recall anything from class, except for this lame tree thing that is certainly not reminiscent of any type of ballet I've ever seen. So, I'll just have to wait until her winter recital to see the real thing. Yes. WINTER. I will not see any of her moves until then, I'm afraid.
But do not fret! I assure you that I will post video footage of the recital sometime around January ... that is, if the Ballet Gestapo happens to allow cameras inside the recital.
One can only hope.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
For the last couple of days, La has been relentlessly reenacting a scene from her latest fave flick, My Little Pony: The Runaway Rainbow. The scene involves two miniature "fairy" ponies (called Breezies). One Breezy is telling another Breezy not to smell a certain flower ... the other Breezy smells the flower anyway, sneezes, and then apologizes and blames her allergies. It's pretty cute.
The problem is she doesn't just do this at home. No. The Breezy Act has no bounds. She busted it out at the the dentist yesterday (until I threatened to stick that scary motorized toothbrush in her mouth if she didn't stop), and all the way to school this morning, and while we were at the grocery store tonight. Which freaked some people out. And I was all, "Oh, don't worry. She isn't REALLY sneezing all over the zucchinis. She's just pretending. She's a very good actress."
So, it was cute at first, but this BreezySneezyZucchiniFest is getting a little out of hand. I mean, she repeats the thing about 20 times a day! Is this considered obsessive behavior?
Good thing the movie is due back at the video store tomorrow night.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Tonight marked the dawn of a new era in the Ka/La household. An age of coming home from work/school, cooking some dinner, and then simultaneously partaking in a ritual along with millions of our fellow Americans.
We watched Dancing With the Stars.
La wanted to dance along with each of the couples, mimicking their every move. Which meant that I spun her around in circles for the entire length of each dance and then attempted to strike the ending pose exactly as the dancers had. This usually ended with La on the ground laughing and me standing over her scolding her for ruining our big finish.
Tonight wasn't all twirling and dancing and rainbows and lollipops, though. We did have one minor altercation during the show. In the middle of one of the dances, La noticed a piece of driftwood sitting on our end table. I found the twisty chunk of driftwood on the beach in Michigan over the weekend (Aunt M turned me on to the idea), and brought it home for decorative purposes (by the way, M also informed me that driftwood was being sold at Pottery Barn for insane amounts of money. I now have proof).
La twirled over during one of our routines and swiped the driftwood off of the table. She then carried it into the kitchen. For some reason, I didn't think this was the least bit strange.
Until I found this:
Which provoked the following conversation:
So, how did my pretty driftwood end up in the garbage can, La?
Well, I throwed it in there mama.
Why'd you do that?
Um. Because it's a stick. Sticks belong outside. And we're inside. So I throwed it away for you.
Yes, La, I understand. However, mommy likes this piece of wood. Mommy wants to keep this piece of wood on the table as decoration. Look, La ... I also have a ficus tree indoors. Ficus trees, too, belong outside. Yet, there it sits. Right inside our house. Because I like having things that belong outdoors indoors.
BUT THAT STICK DOESN'T BELONG INSIDE!!! IT'S DIRTY!!! (dissolves into tears and throws self on floor)
Okay, La. It seems you have spent WAAAAAY too much time with Grandma Linda over the weekend and have suddenly morphed into a rigid, controlling, neat freak (I mean that in a nice way, mom).
So, I decided to ignore La's wishes and moved the driftwood to the shelf, which she can't reach unless she uses a ladder.
Kind of pretty, huh?
... And if I wake up tomorrow and find a ficus tree in the trash can, La will have some serious explaining to do.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This weekend we had the privilege of visiting with my parents and both sets of my grandparents when we met up in South Haven, Michigan. The drive was less than 2 hours for La, Aunt M and I ... Our parents and grandparents didn't have such short drives, but I'm glad they drove as far as they did.
Michigan, incidentally, is gorgeous.
La was very happy to see everyone, especially her Grandpa David, and not just because she could ride around on his shoulders. Friday morning I was listing off all the people that we were going to see over the weekend, and when I got to "Grandpa David," she gasped and smiled and shouted, "I LOVE GRANDPA DAVID!!!"
The weather was incredible. We did a lot of stuff, but mostly relaxed and had a great time.
La got all wet and sandy each of the two days.
And she was more than bummed when it was time to go, as you can see below.
It was a lovely weekend. I wouldn't change a thing about it.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
... La now owns a pair of skinny jeans:
They would have packed a more powerful punch if she hadn't worn the blandish-brownish boots and Amish-looking sweater. Oh well. I guess it's better to phase those bad boys in rather than shock the world by coupling the skinny jeans with her new hot-pink riding boots.
We'll do that next week.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
This is what La looked like when I picked her up from school today:
... Interesting. I guess her fingers wanted a little of that action too.
... So I used my super-duper detective skills to solidify my suspicions by slyly asking her what she did at school today.
And her reply? ... "I just smelled smelly markers."
Just as I suspected.
I'm almost certain the markings are the byproduct of a package of Mr. Sketch scented markers. I really hope they're not from a Sharpie.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Yep ... Still raining in Chicago. But it looks like we will see some sunshine tomorrow!
Is that your house? from swensoka on Vimeo.
La has gotten over not being able to attend yesterday's birthday party in Wisconsin. Although, this morning she did wake up and ask, "Did they open the road to Wisconsin?" and then promptly dissolved into tears lasting 30 full minutes when I replied with "Yes, but the party is over-with."
Thank heavens that Lydia – the birthday girl – came down to visit us today, or I may have had to endure an entire day of "But WHY can't we go to Wisconsin and have ANOTHER party for Lydia? WHY WHY WHHHHYYYY?"
We decided to live a little and went to see Disney on Ice. The girls both wore princess gowns; La was Snow White and Lydia was Cinderella. Oh my goodness – they were JUST SO CUTE.
I must admit that both La and Lydia had "their moments" during and after the show. They didn't exactly act like the perfect princesses they resembled. But I blamed their behavior on the uber-crappy weather and the fact that they are only 4 and 3 years old, respectively. After all, I'm sure La is not the only child to have ever received a "time out" at the United Center after throwing a complete and utter hissy fit because her mommy refused to purchase for her a $14 princess mug (which was probably made in China out of lead-based paint). And I'm sure that Lydia is not the first child to kick the person in front of her repeatedly in the head with her rain boot-clad feet.
No, I should think both of those things happen ALL THE TIME at such venues as the United Center.
On the way home, I got to see something I've never witnessed before: La patiently humoring someone younger than her who happens to be
bugging the crap out of slightly annoying her.
Is that your house? from swensoka on Vimeo.
I think La will be hearing "Is that your house?" in her sleep tonight.
Or I will.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
We had BIG plans today.
At 1:00 this afternoon we were going to celebrate La's cousin Lydia's third birthday in West Allis, Wisconsin. I'm sure you've guessed from the above photo that we didn't exactly make it to the party. We were, however, in the car for 2 full hours ... PLENTY of time to get to West Allis. But, due to severe flooding and the closing of the Edens "Expressway," we never actually made it further than 6 or 7 miles from our home.
(I just did the math on that ... We probably went a total of 15 miles round-trip in 2 hours. That means we averaged a speed of 7.5 miles per hour. WHAT THE ...???)
Needless to say, La was BIG TIME bummed out.
She was wearing a pretty little yellow party dress and a pretty little bow in her hair and even a string of pearls around her neck. The poor thing just didn't understand the concept at all. She kept trying to coax me into getting her to the party somehow – despite the closed expressway. The arguments she concocted sounded completely rational to her: "but don't they understand mama? I have a party to go to!!! We need to buy an airplane and just FLY ourselves there."
I talked to my mom briefly in the traffic jam while La sniffled in the backseat. She said, "oh honey, why don't you just do something REALLY FUN today ... like take her for ice cream??!!"
Yeah. Ice cream.
That should do it. "Here, La. I know you were going to go to a birthday party where there would be ice cream AND cake and games and party favors and balloons and ponies and all of your cousins. It surely would have been a grand ol' time. One that you would never forget. But, the road to Wisconsin was closed. Sorry about your luck. Here's a vanilla ice cream cone. With sprinkles. Enjoy!"
So I called Aunt M, who suggested we go and PAINT POTTERY! What a great idea!
So we drove (very slowly through flooded streets) to Aunt M's, where the two of them first made an apple cobbler with fresh farmer's market apples bought by Aunt M this morning.
And I ate it. Delicious!
Then La, Aunt M, Kate (M's roommate) and I were off to paint pottery at Glazed Expressions. La painted a Fairy and a christmas ornament, I painted a coffee mug and Aunt M and Kate both painted wine goblets.
It turned out to be an alright day after all.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Behold, La's sassy new dress from Gap Kids (on sale, incidentally, for $11).
... And La enjoying a yummy bratwurst at a German Festival over the weekend (OH YEAH. Processed meat. Come to mama.):
... and La suddenly perceiving the luscious bratwurst as Mystery Meat instead of the tasty treat it was minutes before (note the "I think I'm going to hurl" look on her face. I pretty much ALWAYS take this look seriously):
... and La and Aunt M bopping around on the "dance floor area" at the Germanfest (after La DID NOT barf, thank heavens):
... and I don't really remember the exactly what was going on when I took this photo (maybe because of all the beer those Germans kept FORCING me to drink), but, from the looks of things, I imagine that Aunt M said something personally and outrageously offensive to La (like, "Oh yeah La? You like the color pink? Well, I THINK PINK TOTALLY STINKS") and then proceeded to laugh at her.
Yep, that looks about right.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of our household:
(in various forms)
... the Contemplative Batgirl:
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I was really starting to think that it doesn't rain in Chicago. I actually can't remember a day that wasn't sunny and gorgeous. Except for today, which was rainy and gross, which I remember rather vividly.
The great thing about rainy days is that while most people's hair (mine) gets frizzy and nappy and downright nasty, La's hair turns all kinds of GORGEOUS:
And know what's even BETTER about this rain? ... it's that I get to dress La up like a giant red pepper (or hotdog ... you pick) and parade her around Trader Joe's with me.
I wonder how long she will let me embarrass her like this. I hope at least until she's 15.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
... Our weekend was whirlwind of utter madness. It started with Meagan and Mark arriving at Union Station via a shining, world-class, double-decker Megabus at 11:30 p.m. on Friday. La was SO EXCITED that she stayed awake until we picked them up and even stayed up after we got home so she could eat some eggs with Mark. Let's just call that little snack a VERY early breakfast.
The next morning we woke up and Mark, La, Aunt M and I drove up to Six Flags: Great America to meet our cousin Brenda and her daughter Lydia for a day of fun rides and junk food. Sadly, we had to leave Meagan behind because she was in town for a bachelorette party, and if she would have come with us, she would have missed the party.
So, we arrived in the town where Six Flags resides and noticed a big red barn labeled "Antiques." OH GOODY! OLD WORTHLESS JUNK BEING SOLD FOR TWELVE TIMES WHAT IT'S WORTH!!! The freeway gods had mysteriously decided to open all the lanes on the Edens Expressway, so we were running well ahead of schedule, and we decided to drag Mark into a store that he had never seen the likes of in his entire life.
We had driven past a Long John Silver's on the way to the antique shop, and I thought Mark was about to jump out of the speeding car the minute he laid eyes on it. I was all like, "Whoa boy! Sit down right now and stop drooling on the window! We'll go for some Long John's just as soon as you assist me in finding the PERFECT little chest to fit snugly next to my computer to rest my printer on. And if I don't find the little table I'm looking for? NO LONG JOHN'S FOR YOU!" And I must say he was a good boy the whole time we were in the store. He actually seemed to like the place. I'm sure he's still reveling in the glory of his newfound hobby of "Antiquing." He's probably sitting at his desk right now writing Aunt M and I personal thank-you notes just for introducing him to the wide world of antiques.
So he got his Long John's ... and, best of all, Aunt M, La and I got a valuable lesson on how to fill the inside of a hushpuppy with malt vinegar using only a straw and a powerful set of lungs.
I tell you, it was worth the hour-long drive just to see that demo.
When we got to the theme park, we started the day off right with a ride on the double-decker carousel. Imagine that. Mark's second ride on something labeled "double decker" within 12 hours.
Then I rode a ride with Brenda and Lydia called "picking fruit" in the Wiggles-themed kiddy-land area of the park. Where everything is, as you can imagine, Wiggle-themed. (You have to be careful to limit stints in that area of the park to about 30 minutes. Otherwise you become COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY INSANE from all the Australian-accented singing and dancing going on around you) La was supposed to ride this picking fruit ride with us, but she discovered that it goes a whopping 10 feet into the air, and she bailed at the last second. I remained on the Wiggles ride without my child because, let's face it, that was the most riveting ride I would experience that day. That's one of those things they don't tell you in "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Not even a mere sentence of that book warns you that you will NEVER AGAIN get the chance to ride a roller coaster.
On Sunday, some friends came over and we headed downtown for a water taxi ride through the city and then for a trip to the top of the Sears Tower.
... and that's where I took this picture of Meagan and Mark. Right there at the top of the Sears Tower. And after I took this picture and Meagan saw how cute she looked, she threatened my life if I didn't post it on my blog.
So, here you go Internet. Miss Meagan looking sassy on top of the world:
I wish I would have taken more pictures on Monday (Labor Day). That was the day that Aunt M, Kate (M's roommate), La and I drove up to Wisconsin for a pool party at Aunt Kathleen's and Uncle Joe's rad pad.
The weather was perfect and almost everyone from my mom's side of the family was there. Except for my mom, of course. Which made me very sad and left me wondering why my parents don't just MOVE HERE ALREADY.
And Meagan and Mark; It wouldn't be so bad if you did the same thing.